Beyond the Technology podcast: Hybrid teaching - learning from staff and student experiences

Lis Parcell is joined by Matt Turner and Gabi Witthaus from the Higher Education Futures institute (HEFi), University of Birmingham to talk about a hybrid teaching project involving two universities.


Gabi and Matt were part of a research team made up of staff and students from University of Nottingham (project lead) and University of Birmingham (project partner) which investigated experiences of hybrid teaching and learning in the academic year 2020/2021. The principal investigator was Cecilia Goria (University of Nottingham) and the project was supported and funded by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA).

“…the term ‘hybrid teaching’ is used to refer to lectures/seminars/classes in which some students are physically present in a classroom and others join online simultaneously from remote locations”

Lis begins by talking to Matt and Gabi about the origins of the project and their definition of hybrid teaching. They look at how hybrid teaching rooms were developed at the two participating universities to enable all students to continue studying as some returned to campus and some remained online as COVID-19 restrictions were lifted. Importantly, the research involved collaboration between students and staff and they touch on how this was achieved.

The project gathered a fascinating array of quantitative and qualitative data from over 500 students and nearly 50 staff (teaching and audio-visual/IT) across the two universities. Gabi and Matt offer an overview of the main themes which emerged, interspersed with quotes from staff and students. Whilst the project’s recommendations make particularly valuable reading for anyone contemplating hybrid teaching, we also hear how they might inform digital transformation of learning and teaching more generally.

Gabi and Matt finish with reflections on some potential areas for further investigation.

Show notes

Episode guests

Gabi Witthaus
Gabi Witthaus
Senior digital education developer, Higher Education Futures Institute/College of Arts and Law, University of Birmingham
Matt Turner
Matt Turner
Head of digital, Higher Education Futures Institute, University of Birmingham

Episode host

Lis Parcell
Lis Parcell
Subject specialist: teaching, learning and assessment

Additional links